We braved our first South American bus journey, only 7 hours and nothing to worry about. The bus was air conditioned, had a (clean) loo, we were given biscuits and juice and Donna said it was far better than the number 79 from west Brom to Darlo - the scenery was outstanding. We went up, up, uphill to 10,200 feet crossing the Andes into Argentina. The border crossing only took just over an hour, buses get priority, cars can take 5 and a half hours to clear customs. All the bags came off the bus and were scanned but our hand luggage wasn't scanned or examined! After a spectacular bus journey we arrived to the mayhem of another city - Mendoza. The bus station is full on, we managed to get a taxi to the hostel we had booked. We checked in, paid for 2 nights and checked out within an hour - fortunately they refunded us in full, but we were leaving regardless. We don't mind basic and clean, but the room was dirty, the sheets were dirty, the towels were white once upon a time, I won't even bother to describe the bathroom. to top it all to tart the place up they had been painting, couldn't tell where but our room stank of it, and the door didn't feel very secure (for leaving our luggage in during the day). To describe it accurately it was shi#! we used their internet and found somewhere else, paid a bit more but got a clean room, our own kitchen, TV and the place has a pool - result. After a goog night sleep we went in search of Trekking permits. The plan is to trek to Aconcagua basecamp and Plaza Francia 9at around 14,000 feet). Aconcagus is the highest mountain outside Asia. we could book a 2 week mountaineering trip to the summit (22,841 feet), but Donna woud probably divorce me! It was 32 Deg C yesterday, 34 today forecast for the next few days, 36, 37, 38! Glad we are going up into the mountains. So with trekking permits in hand (and not cheap) we have a 3 day trek planned, but first we have to get a bus part way back up the road towards Chile to stay in a refuge before and after the trek, so we sweated our way from the supermarket loaded with provisions for 5 days and 4 nights - don't know yet how we are going to fit it all in our rucsacs. We won't have any internet for 4 days at least so we have already booked our digs for our destination after the trek. The problem is the only bus going there (Las Lenas) is at 6.00am - we will get the trek done before we have to worry about that early start. Whilst at the bus station sorting out tickets Donna popped in and out of the loo very quickly, she refused to use them as every cubicle contained a sleeping stray dog. There are even more traffic light jugglers in Mendoza than santiago. We are cooling off by the pool with a beer, relaxing before the hard work begins.